Homeless man faces probation for burning Minnesota synagogue
Prosecutors said they will ask for probation for Matthew James Amiot, 36, a homeless man who pleaded guilty to burning down a Duluth, Minnesota, synagogue on Sept. 9, JTA reported.
Amiot could have faced up to three years in prison for the fire at 120-year-old Adas Israel Synagogue, but police said there was no evidence the fire was a bias or hate crime.
Amiot said he was taking shelter in an alcove between the synagogue and its sukkah when he used a lighter to set a fire. He said he tried to extinguish the fire by spitting on it, but walked away when that failed.
Damage to the property, which was declared a total loss, was $117,000 for
the building and at least $250,000 for religious items.
New Jersey attorney resigns after ‘Jew down’ controversy
Stuart Platt, an attorney under contract with the city of Trenton, New Jersey, resigned in the wake of a September executive session during which City Council President Kathy McBride used the term “Jew her down,” JTA reported.
Platt is relinquishing a $25,000 contract to be the city’s redevelopment attorney.
“I am an American and I am a Jew. I am resigning because of the disgraceful and shameful anti-Semitic remarks that were in fact made by the Council president of the city of Trenton, Kathy McBride,” Platt wrote in his resignation letter. “The vitriolic and hateful anti-Semitic comments were exacerbated by Councilwoman Robin Vaughn, who defended McBride by saying that the word ‘Jew’ is a verb and then claiming not to know this is an anti-Semitic slur.”
McBride and Council members George Muschal and Vaughn — who both originally defended McBride — have since apologized. JN